Nice Travel Guide

Get Your Bearings in Nice

Where to Stay

Hotels in Nice range from budget youth hostels and guest houses to luxury four-star hotels, like the seafront Palais de la Méditerranée. Youth hostels offer dorm-style and private rooms, though several are located further away from the heart of the city. Smaller guest houses range from small hotels to bed and breakfasts.

Caution: There are many hotels located near the airport, but these are located some distance from the city center.


What to Eat

Seafood dominates local cuisine and many restaurants focus on sea-urchin and oyster dishes. Budget options include baguettes with various fillings and set lunch menus, which offer continental European cuisine with coffee and wine. Vieux Nice is filled with restaurants specializing in local Niçoise cuisine, while the Old Port area focuses on fish stews. Place Garibaldi is the go-to area for French bistros.

Be Sure to Sample: Local specialties include bread made from chickpea and a fish soup.


Things to See

Several museums in Nice, such as the Museum of Asian Art and the Musee Matisse, offer an opportunity to learn about art throughout the ages. The beaches of Nice are a great opportunity to take in a view of the sea and swim. The ruins of a castle, offering great views of the surrounding countryside, are accessible near the harbor at Colline du Chateau.

Caution: Beaches in Nice are pebble beaches, not sand, and can be uncomfortable to those not prepared.


Places to Party

The music bars of the city are often open until late, and the Cours Seleya is the place to go for an early drink, with late night bars opening up as the night progresses. Live music is popular in Nice, especially during the Nice Jazz festival, which takes place in July. The cafes and bars of the Vieux Nice are a great relaxing venue, and are filled with visitors attracted to the local crafts markets.

Hot Tips: La Semaine des Spectacles, a weekly available at kiosks around the city, describes current events in Nice.


Where to Shop

Nice's main shopping area is on Jean Medecin Avenue, home to several entertainment stores selling CDs, DVDs, and books. Nice Etoiles, located in the city center, is a large shopping mall that specializes in old British brands. High-end clothing is sold throughout Nice in places like Galleries Lafayette, which also has a superstore near St Laurent de Var focusing on food.

Avoid: The duty free shops at the Nice airport should be avoided, as they are highly overpriced.


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About Nice

Nestled in southeastern France on the Mediterranean Sea, Nice is the capital — and chief resort — of the Riviera. Although it's sometimes overshadowed by its more glamorous neighbor Cannes, Nice is a charming port city blessed with a number of cultural and recreational attractions. Visitors from around the world are drawn to its pebbly beaches and narrow, cobblestone streets. Cars are forbidden in the old town, which sits up against the romantic hill, Colline du Chateau. Tourists can stroll past quaint cafés, outdoor markets and Latin-flavored squares. Further south, the Promenade des Anglais offers an enchanting walk along the sea front. Like most of the Riviera, the nightlife in Nice is hopping with trendy clubs and restaurants. For the culturally minded, Nice is home to one university and a number of fine museums, including Musée Matisse and Musée Chagall.